Ute Mountain Ute
The Ute Mountain Ute Tribe is one of the tribes of the Ute Nation. Their reservation is located in southwest Colorado, southeast Utah, and northern New Mexico. The two communities on the reservation are at the tribal headquarters in Towaoc, Colorado and in White Mesa, Utah.
Their culture includes handcrafted bead work, basket making, hide-paintings, leather work, and pottery.
White Mesa Community
The White Mesa Community is party of the larger Ute Mountain Ute tribe, whose headquarters are in Towaoc, Colorado. The community is located 12 miles south of Blanding, Utah.
According to Ute tradition, the people of White Mesa came to the Four Corners area after the creation of the world. Anthropologists say that the Southern Utes and the Southern Paiutes entered the region between 850 and 430 years ago, and the people of White Mesa descend from a band of Southern Utes, the Weenuche.
Contact with the Spanish, and eventually Mormons, changed their way of life and in 1868 they signed a treaty that forced them to western Colorado Territory. The Weenuche band resisted reservation life for many years, however in 1923 they were confined to small allotments in San Juan County, Utah. This made their traditional lifestyle impossible. Farming was unsuccessful, so they turned to raising sheep, cattle, and horses. Starting in the 1950s, the Utes started building houses on the land south of Blanding, which created the community known as White Mesa.